Hillingdon's waste services win Best Partnership Award
Wednesday 13 October: Hillingdon Council's waste and recycling service won the Best Partnership Award at this year's Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee Awards (LARAC) which took place on Wednesday 6 October.
The team won the prestigious award for their partnership work with the NHS on needle collections. The collaboration has resulted in a high demand from residents for the council's clinical waste service for sharp collections. The joint work has also prevented needle injuries to waste crews and staff at the sorting plant.
When the council needed a solution to stop recycled waste being contaminated with needles they enlisted the help of the NHS via pharmacies, health centres and hospitals. Many residents, through no fault of their own, were unsure what to do with used needles as they are made from recyclable materials, therefore they would place them in their recycling bags.
Both the council and partners from the NHS worked together to promote the clinical waste sharp collection service to ensure residents could collect and dispose of needles properly and safely.
The success of the partnership has seen an increase in demand by 110% between March 2021 and August 2021 - and an additional collection day was added to the service. The joint work has also recorded no needle injuries to crews.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing and Regeneration, said: "Firstly I'd like to congratulate our waste services team for this outstanding achievement. The award is a testament to the work carried out by both our waste service and partners at the NHS to ensure the safe collections of needles.
"Seeing the higher demand for the service and changes to the way residents dispose of needles shows that our residents want to do the right thing and are now disposing of needles the correct way. I'd like to thank our residents for using our sharps collections and to everyone involved in this joint partnership to protect frontline crews and ensure contamination in recycled waste is reduced."
Keval Modi, Medicines Management Pharmacist said: "As a pharmacist, we were aware that for many of our patients - especially those with certain long term conditions - sharps disposal was often a problem for them. Working in partnership with the local authority has enabled us to provide an effective and simple solution for our patients, making their lives easier and improving safety for refuse collection crews."